Town dig in for a point

Nottingham Forest 1, Ipswich Town 1Ipswich Town manager Joe Royle praised his team for "digging in" to gain a battling point at Nottingham Forest last night.

By Carl Marston

Nottingham Forest 1, Ipswich Town 1

Ipswich Town manager Joe Royle praised his team for "digging in" to gain a battling point at Nottingham Forest last night.

Darren Bent's calm finish in the 61st minute was cancelled out by a Forest defender Wes Morgan's equaliser just seven minutes later.

The hosts had the better of the opportunities but Ipswich showed terrific character and resilience, combined with some excellent goalkeeping from Kelvin Davis.

Royle enthused: "A draw was probably the right result. We didn't hit the heights of our win at Cardiff on Saturday, but I'll take a point here.

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"Kelvin (Davis) made some great saves especially in the first half. Forest are a good side, and they are in a false position just as we were last season.

"They will probably feel aggrieved not to have been ahead on their first half performance. However, we dug in and did well to get a point.

"It was a very open game, and that suited all our midfield. Chris Bart-Williams had done a great job for us since he arrived at the club, and he did not let us down again.

"The one disappointing aspect was the way we failed to close down their winger Andy Reid from getting in a cross for the goal. We were naïve.

"Saturday was all about our free-flowing style. That was a cracking win, but we had to show different qualities tonight.

"Looking at the table we are far better off than last year, but we should be in the top two by now, and I've said that all along.

"Although we've lost some top players from last season, I believe we are stronger and we have a great spirit.

"This was a game we would have lost last year, and in fact we did!" added Royle.

Forest manager Paul Hart was disappointed that his side did not record what would have been their first win in seven matches, but he also paid tribute to the opposition.

Hart said: "I think Ipswich are an excellent side, and I like the way they play.

"Even though we beat them last year, I said at the time that they were the best team we had played here, and nothing much has changed.

"However, we gave Ipswich a few problems tonight, and once again we have been denied by an opposing keeper playing very well.

"I'm slightly disappointed that we didn't get the win, but I thought my players showed terrific courage following the 3-0 defeat at West Brom over the weekend.

"We made Ipswich defend for large parts of the game, but to their credit, Ipswich defended tremendously well", added Hart.

Ipswich can now look forward to a home fixture against Derby County this Saturday, which will herald the return of their former manager George Burley.

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